Friday 22 July 2011

The America project - Idaho

Idaho (ID) size 83,642 sq.m population 1.6 million

Bordering states Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Montana, Wyoming, Utah (6)
State capital & Most populous city Boise
Other notable places Idaho Falls, Pocatello, Twin Falls, Moscow
Notable landmarks and natural features Snake River; Hell's Canyon; Sawtooth Mountains; Shoshone Falls

Statehood 3rd July 1890 (43rd)

Five famous Idahoans
J.D. Cannon (actor; born Salmon, 1922-2005)
W. Mark Felt (FBI agent ("Deepthroat"; born Twin Falls, 1913-2008)
Ezra Pound (poet; born Hailey, 1885-1972)
Curtis Stigers (musician; born Boise, 1965 -)
Lana Turner (actress; born Wallace, 1921-1995)

Three important events

1. Miners' Strikes
Mining provided the backbone of the Idahoan economy throughout its early years in the Union, but also a lot of its strife. In 1892 a strike at Coeur d'Alene developed into a gunfight between miners and mining company guards. In 1899, seventeen Bunker Hill miners were sacked for having joined the Mining Union and retaliated by blowing up Bunker Hill Mill, killing two company guards. The clamour died down in 1907, after an official from the Western Union of Miners was found guilty of conspiring with the assassin of the State Governor in 1905.

2. Fallout (1950s onwards)
Idaho is one of several northern States who have been affected by radioactive fallout from atom bomb tests in Nye County, Nevada during the 1950s and 1960s. Idahoans show far higher levels of Iodine-131 than the national average. Efforts to properly compensate those afflicted are still going on in Congress.

3. Randy Weaver (1992)
From the 1980s, Idaho was suddenly struck by a raft of far-right wing survivalist and white-power groups. In 1992, an ex-army Green Beret called Randy Weaver, long been suspected of belonging to the Aryan Nation (a charge he denied), was involved in an armed stand-off with Federal agents at his home at Ruby Ridge. Weaver's wife and 10-year old son were killed by gunfire, as was a US Marshal. After a 10 days, Weaver elected to surrender. In the subsequent court case he was found to have acted in self-defence but his failure to appear in court earned him an 18-month custodial sentence.

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